Chikurubi Prison Condemned As A Place To Habitat Human Beings
25 November 2020
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File picture of Overcrowded inmates at Chikurubi Prison

THE Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) has admitted that there is overcrowding at Chikurubi Maximum Prison after lawyers yesterday visited the prison following an order by High Court judge Justice Siyabonga Msithu on November 20.

This was after Taurai Dodzo, an inmate at Chikurubi Prison was assisted by the Human Rights NGO Forum and the Civil Division of the Attorney General’s Office to compel authorities to make investigative visits to prisons, and to ensure the ZPCS provides water and medication to inmates.

The applicants represented by Wilbert Mandinde and Chris Mhike of Atherstone and Cook Legal Practitioners were advised of overcrowding within the prison system as Chikurubi currently exceeds its holding capacity by more than 1 000 inmates.

Chikurubi Prison officer-in-charge Assistant Commissioner George Mutimbanyoka told the lawyers that despite the overcrowding, they could not turn away new inmates that the courts refer to them.

Dodzo, through his lawyers, complained of a diarrhoea outbreak and shortage of bath water at the prison.

He also said he was being punished for making the application and had been moved to a cell whose toilet was not working, and where all inmates used a bucket which would be emptied when the cells are opened after having spent 17 hours locked in there.

The forum wants Finance minister Mthuli Ncube to avail sufficient resources to the ZPCS for the upkeep of the prison as well as for the construction of more prisons to deal with overcrowding.

Justice Msithu is expected to receive a report of the visit tomorrow.